Jackson will Oversee the Pizza Franchise’s People Services Department, Develop Strategies, and Enhance its Culture
Christina Jackson has been named Chief People Officer of Donatos Pizza, a family-owned pizza franchisor based in Ohio. In this role, Jackson will oversee the pizza band’s people services department, create innovative strategies, and enhance the company’s culture. Jackson will also develop an inclusive people plan to ensure all are included at Donatos. She brings more than two decades of leadership experience in financial services, sales, education, healthcare, and retail to this new position. Jackson has been a fan of the pizza franchise since she was a child.
“I feel honored to have the opportunity to leverage my background and experiences to help lead and support Donatos on the road to becoming a billion-dollar company,” Jackson said in a statement.
Donatos’ culture and values attracted Jackon to the pizza brand. “What excites me most about working for Donatos is that it is a values-based company I literally grew up with that supports my style of leading with love, putting people first, doing the right thing, and giving back to the community,” she said.
When Jane Grote Abell, Donatos’ executive chairwoman and Chief Purpose Officer, reached out to Jackson about the position, Jackson felt honored. “As a Columbus, Ohio native, Donatos has played an integral part in my fondest family memories from childhood and beyond. As I began researching Donatos as a potential employer, I must say I was very impressed with its footprint (429 locations in 27 states) and the strategic partnerships with Red Robin and Reef Kitchens, which poised Donatos to become a billion-dollar company in five years,” Jackson said.
Donatos’ leadership team believes Jackson will be an important asset to the company moving forward. “I am excited for Christina to join our family. Our people are our most valuable resource, and her vast experience in various strategic leadership roles in the people services field will guide us in our daily focus of being a preferred workplace where every associate is encouraged to be their authentic self,” Kevin King, president of Donatos, said in a statement.
Prior to working at Donatos, Jackson was the first-ever leader of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Designer Brands, parent company to The Shoe Company, DSW, and Vince Camuto. The Ohio resident has also worked at OhioHealth as a strategic Human Resources (HR) leader and as a senior strategic HR leader at Bath & Body Works. She has spent a lot of her career as a servant leader focused on building relationships to improve the culture and operational performance of companies.
In order for franchisors to foster a more inclusive culture, Jackson suggests creating a strategy focused on leadership, talent, and associate engagement. “When there is intentionality around removing barriers to entry and equity, platforms are created to elevate associate voices, and leaders are committed in both words and actions, optimal results will be achieved for all.”